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Friday, August 27, 2010

Hope, Empowerment, and Love

By Liberalindependent28

The unity of the human spirit is a powerful force because it is that which connects us despite our vast differences. United States culture is making the gradual movement towards recognizing that same spirit of humanity for LGBTQ people that has been lacking for too many years. Despair can set in at times when we see major setbacks such as the successful passage of proposition 8 in California, or the news of another LGBTQ person being the victim of a hate crime. Despite all of the pain our society has and still does put us through we must never give up our resolve to see the United States government finally rid itself of every last vestige of institutionalized homophobia and transphobia.

It is a lasting legacy of a civil rights struggle that future students of history will read about in textbooks of this nation. In the future, no longer will Harvey Milk, Dan Choi, Bayard Rustin, or Billie Jean King be left out of the discussion as they too will be recognized in a more broad manner for the work they did for this nation. Inclusion of the LGBTQ community continues to become stronger with each passing year because of our activism. Coming out is a strong way we continue to strengthen this movement so that the tide of history continues towards the favor of justice, equality, and freedom under our laws. Hopefully more public figures in all areas of our society will make the choice to live as who they are out loud.

Our collective hope for a better future in which there is no government sanctioned discrimination against our people is what keeps us going. Although we have not always won the local, state, and national battles for our rights it has created a dialogue. Our country can never go back to where it was even two years ago in light of the change in tone and content of the discourse on civil rights in this country. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender is being seen by greater numbers of Americans as just another person who deserves all of the same rights and benefits as everyone else. This hope is what keeps our dedication as LGBTQ and Heterosexual allies solid because we know with every fiber of our being we stand on the right side of history.

By having a meaningful discussion about social policies such as DADT, ENDA, UAFA, and so on it causes a broader societal discourse about the state of human rights in the United States as well as abroad. Can we effectively condemn other nations engaging in horrific human rights violations against their LGBTQ citizens when we don't treat LGBTQ people at home equally? The definitive answer to that question is no because the United States abandons the moral authority to decry such things when DOMA and DADT remain the law of the land. Thus, domestic based bigotry through government sanctioned discrimination harms the United States' credibility on basic human rights issues regarding foreign policies abroad.

These injustices which harm people simply on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are what can motivate and empower us to make a difference. Each news story which speaks to the heartbreaking discharge of another Gay solider in the military brings this into focus. We must channel our righteous indignation into a collective movement that finally pushes us past the tipping point we find ourselves at right now. By telling our stories as we reach out to friends, family, and the broader community we empower ourselves further to be a part of this historic push to knock down these remaining walls to basic civil and human rights in the United States. Empowerment is a means to the end of attaining our collective goal: equal rights.

Finally, when it comes to the issue of marriage equality, it really is about love. Those who continue to staunchly oppose our full equality including President Obama must understand this means they oppose love. Love is a positive foundation of society that stands in stark contrast to the hatred that so often is ingrained in the rhetoric of anti-marriage equality advocates. The fact that so many people still do not see it this way is a testament to how far we have to go, but we will get there. We must have confidence in knowing that what we are fighting for is nothing less then the ability to love and to have our love recognized equally in the eyes of the federal government as Heterosexual couples already do.

Love, hope, and empowerment are three powerful components to remind yourself of everyday because they are what can sustain your spirit in the face of tough obstacles. We must know and internalize these components as activists for the LGBTQ civil rights movement while we enter another phase of this through greater public support. Change can sometimes move very slowly, and this is why we are here: to speed that process up. Year by year our activism continues to pay off in the march to recognize the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans. Remember that through all of the difficult times we have yet to face that each brick we knock out of the wall of discrimination brings us ever closer to knocking it down.


  1. I have found myself getting discouraged when a court decision or vote doesn't go our way. Thanks for reminding me not to lose heart.

  2. what ajewella said. my entire attitude got brighter for those brief few days after the recent CA ruling and before the stay. Once the stay was issued, back to doldrums. thanks for the great diary Liberalindependent28